World of Sport

‘I’ve been tossed on the scrapheap’, says London 2012 performer

World of Sport

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What is the London 2012 Olympic legacy, really? Well, Jon Pollock certainly does not know.

The GB Paralympian picked up two medals during a long career in wheelchair basketball but has found life extremely tough since retiring after London 2012.

Pollock, who won bronze at both the 2004 and 2008 Paralympic Games, enjoyed success for 20 years in the sport, but has struggled after stepping away.

He says he has received no support after life in his sport and is not sure what to do next.

Jon, who has spina bifida, was quoted as saying in the Metro: "I don’t believe in the Olympic legacy, Paralympic legacy or London legacy.

"I think they knew they were saying it before it happened. It’s just something someone can write to a sponsor and say they’re attached to it but what is this legacy?

"I retired after London and since then I’m not entitled to benefits because lottery funding isn’t taxable.

"So when I go and apply for a job, the woman in the job centre said I should do charity work. But that doesn’t pay the bills," he added.

[Rutherford: Gold medals don't put food on the table]

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"I’ve given everything I have to my career and now I just feel like I’ve been tossed on the scrap heap.

"I don’t think I’m owed a living at all, I want to work and I want the opportunity everyone else would have."

Has his spina bifida been a major factor in his life after the sport?

"The world still has blinkers on in my opinion, people just see a chair and think I’m an invalid, you can tell with the way a lot act around me.

"I would absolutely love to just settle into a routine job and earn money for my family, it’s all I want."

It's a sad tale of a successful sports personality struggling to move on from sport and apparently not having sufficient support for the next chapter in his life.

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